May 19, 2018 - No. 19
No Consent, No
Militant March in
Kinder Morgan Pipeline Expansion
• Canada Needs
a New Direction for the Economy
• Kinder Morgan Pipeline Crisis
• Alberta Government Passes
Restrict Oil Shipments to BC
• State Pay-the-Rich Scheme for
Trans Mountain Pipeline Project
- K.C. Adams -
• Disinformation about Asian Markets
for the Kinder Morgan
Trans Mountain Bitumen Pipeline
- Peggy Morton -
• The Disputed Claims of Cenovus
U.S. Once Again
Creates Tense Situation on Korean Peninsula
• The Politics of Provocation
• DPRK Rejects
U.S. Provocative Model of Unilateral Denuclearization
• Finalizing North Korea-U.S. Negotiations
- Lee Je-hun -
• DPRK to Dismantle Nuclear Weapons
Test Site at Punggye-ri
• Max Thunder Air Combat Drill
Against the DPRK
Increases Tensions on Korean Peninsula
• Militant Commemoration of 38th
of Gwangju People's Uprising
• Calendar of Events
• Dirty War vs. People's
- Claude Brunelle -
70th Anniversary of
• Worldwide Protests Against Israeli Crimes
U.S. Inauguration of Illegal Embassy
No Consent, No Pipeline!
Militant March in Vancouver Against
Kinder Morgan Pipeline
On May 12 some 1,000 people participated in a
militant three-hour march through downtown Vancouver to reaffirm
the people's opposition and determination to stop Kinder Morgan's
expansion of its Trans Mountain Pipeline from Alberta to its
terminal at the head of Burrard Inlet in Burnaby. The action,
organized by the environmental umbrella group Climate
Convergence attracted people of all ages and from various walks of
After listening to an
impassioned speech by an Indigenous
woman from the BC interior who spoke about the negative impact
the project would have on Indigenous communities en route and
described the hardships that current flooding in the interior is
causing and denounced government indifference, the
marchers headed out behind drummers and a huge red banner which
read "No Kinder Morgan. No Consent. No Pipeline." There was almost
constant shouting of slogans with many raised fists. Passing
motorists honked horns, raised fists or gave thumbs up. Some
passing pedestrians joined the march while many others took
pictures or video. Marchers stopped in front of various banks
which have heavily invested in Kinder Morgan and calls were made
to divest from these banks. A stop was also made in front of the
building housing the court room where more than 200 people are
being tried for criminal contempt after defying an injunction
barring protesters from stepping within five metres of Kinder
Among the numerous placards
carried by marchers were Defend
Indigenous Sovereignty; System
Not Sea Levels; Our Demands
Most Modest Are: We Only Want
The Earth (which was greeted enthusiastically with comments such
as "That sums it up"); Who Decides?
We Decide! An article
reprinted from TML Weekly
entitled "Who Benefits from LNG
Canada's Natural Gas Extraction, Liquefaction, and Shipping
Project" was distributed to participants and onlookers.
Canada Needs a New Direction for the Economy
The workers' movement in
Canada has given rise to many
slogans expressing the need for a new direction for the economy: Don't Ship Our Jobs Down
the Pipeline!; Our Resources,
Oils!; Refine It Where We
Mine It!; No to Rip and Ship!;
Economy? Our Economy!; Manufacturing
slogans express the determination of working people to find
solutions to the problems facing the socialized economy and
change the direction to develop a pro-social nation-building
project and vest sovereignty in the people.
The federal liberal government and Alberta NDP
together with the energy monopolies and big banks are doing
everything they can to suppress all discussion of a way forward.
They assert that the Trans Mountain bitumen pipeline (TMX) is in
the national interest and no alternatives are possible or should
even be discussed. The people are told that consequences of not
building the pipeline and shipping out raw bitumen are so dire
that they cannot be contemplated. Exaggerated, over the top
claims are made about how the pipeline will result in tens of
thousands of jobs, billions of dollars in royalty and tax
revenues to fund health care, education and other social
programs, and economic disaster if not built.
Now the Trudeau and Notley governments are in
with Kinder Morgan to indemnify, or more properly said, bail out or
subsidize its private investment. Many have denounced this as
outrageous. Why are governments prepared to shell out vast sums
of public money to enormously wealthy private interests? How is
this in the national interest to hand over who knows how many
millions or billions to Richard Kinder, whose personal fortune
exceeds the total estimated price of production of the TMX? Why
not have discussion as to what is really needed in Alberta and BC
to build a diversified self-reliant economy and invest the
people's money in public enterprise? The refusal to do so is what
is harming the national interest.
Kinder Morgan Pipeline Crisis
Many commentators see the Kinder Morgan pipeline
between BC and the federal government as a crisis of federalism.
It is in the sense that arrangements which permitted the
harmonization of the interests of the different levels of
government in the past when contradictions manifested themselves,
no longer exist The crisis is a clash of authorities and more
specifically a clash of the arbitrary police powers within each
of these authorities.
Under neo-liberalism, no role is accorded federal,
or municipal jurisdictions or anything that interferes with the
most powerful supranational private interests at the very top.
When Trudeau speaks of the national interest with regard to any
project the imperialists demand, this refers to the need to use
the state treasury to guarantee whatever the private interests
have planned and to enforce the decision through police powers.
Any authority down the line which does not submit to this demand
With Kinder Morgan's
pipeline expansion project, which has
already received millions of dollars of state funds and a
promised $1.5 billion "Oceans Protection Plan"
for infrastructure, Trudeau's new scheme, in true Liberal style, is to
private money against loss, risk and uncertainty, by throwing the
entire financial and police powers of the central state behind
the project. This officially confirms the project as one in
conformity with the national interest regardless of evidence to
the contrary, and brooks no challenge or even discussion.
Official consent is given through state money while the
people's refusal to give their consent is either ignored or damned. The
project will be carried out under the protection of the central
government's ability to dictate and enforce. These are "police
powers" which exist above governments of laws. They are being
exercised despite any opposition from the BC government,
municipal authorities, Indigenous peoples and others who are not
convinced the project is in the public interest.
The process of consultations and National Energy Board
hearings have also revealed themselves to be scams of a dubious
character and they too are finished with the official decision
cast in stone. The uncertainty Kinder Morgan says it refuses to
operate under has now "disappeared," all opposition has been
At least that is how the Trudeau government frames the situation.
Like a King Canute, Trudeau declares that the project will now go
ahead without direct confrontation with Indigenous peoples,
provincial and municipal governments or opposition from the other
thousands of concerned members of the polity who have not given
For governments in the service of the rich powerful
interests they represent, if certain institutions, collectives
and individuals still feel strongly opposed to the project for
whatever reason, they stand accused of defying the national
interest and the will and electoral mandate of the cartel party
in power. Any recalcitrance will pay the price of police powers
crashing down on their heads as hundreds have already discovered
with injunctions, arrests and court judgements against them.
Case closed. This brings shame and disrepute on the Trudeau
government and no calm or just resolution for the people who
question and strongly oppose this project on many fronts.
Alberta Government Passes Legislation to
Shipments to BC
The Alberta legislature passed Bill 12, Preserving
Canada's Economic Prosperity Act on May 16. The legislation
gives the executive sweeping powers to stop shipments of oil from
Alberta to BC, or to dictate how a shipment can be transported,
for example increasing the cost by requiring shipment by rail
rather than pipeline.
"Albertans, British Columbians and all Canadians should
understand that if the path forward for the pipeline through BC
is not settled soon, I'm ready and prepared to turn off the
taps," Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said.
The target of the legislation is shipments of refined
BC, or crude oil to BC's only refinery, located in Burnaby. The
Trans Mountain pipeline regularly batches different products,
shipping dilbit (diluted bitumen), and refined products such as
gasoline. Only crude and the condensate required to dilute it to
flow through a pipeline are shipped to the U.S. This will
continue, while the licence requirement can be used to block
shipments to BC's refinery, or shipments of refined fuels such as
gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.
Bill 12 gives the Minister of Energy a blank cheque and
complete authority to require a person
or class of persons to
obtain a licence for export of natural gas, crude oil or refined
fuels. The Minister can require a licence based on determining
whether it is in the "public interest of Alberta" to do so,
considering (a) whether adequate pipeline capacity exists to
maximize the return on crude oil and diluted bitumen produced in
Alberta; (b) whether adequate supplies and reserves of natural
gas, crude oil and refined fuels will be available for Alberta's
present and future needs, and (c) any other matters considered
relevant by the Minister.
A law could not more
clearly state that the interests of the
most powerful private interests to maximize their profits trump
any consideration of what is good or necessary for the Canadian
economy, working class and people. The law even explicitly states
that "stakeholders" will be consulted before the law is used,
making it "legal" that private interests will dictate if and when
the police powers authorized by the law will be used.
BC's one small refinery produces 55,000
barrels/day, which supplies just 30 per cent of BC's market. The rest
comes either from Edmonton or Washington state refineries, which
are in part supplied by oil from Alberta. The BC Parkland
refinery (formerly Chevron) has not been able to obtain enough
space on the existing Trans Mountain pipeline for the crude oil
it needs, and about half of the oil for the refinery from Alberta
comes by rail. The National Energy Board refused the refinery's
request for priority status on the pipeline. BC is forced to buy
refined products from the Washington state refineries, which are
considered to be the most profitable in North America. These
arrangements all lead to sky-high gasoline prices in BC. They are
detrimental to the BC economy and to the people of BC, and siphon
off added value produced by the BC working class to the advantage
of the global monopolies who own the refineries in Washington
Bill 12 is designed to authorize the use of executive
as directed by the most powerful monopolies to circumvent
existing laws and agreements such as the New West Partnership
Trade Agreement (NWPTA) and the Canadian Free Trade Agreement
(CFTA). The Alberta government described NWPTA as "a ground-breaking
economic partnership between the Governments of British Columbia,
Alberta, and Saskatchewan. Building upon the [Trade, Investment and
Labour Mobility Agreement between the governments of Alberta and BC],
creates Canada's largest interprovincial free trade zone,"
ensuring "the free flow of goods, services, investment and
workers." Article 301 of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement, to
which Alberta is a signatory, states that "a province shall not
adopt or maintain any measure that restricts or prevents the
movement of goods across provincial or territorial boundaries."
Both agreements contain dispute resolution mechanisms.
All Canadians should be concerned about the use of
powers to carry out wrecking and to punish the people of BC for
their opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Canada is
required under the North American Free Trade Agreement not to reduce
the proportion of its total
oil production which goes to the U.S. The Canadian socialized economy
is in this way made subservient to the needs of the U.S. Empire.
Legislation is enacted that authorizes depriving Canadians
of essential products, while maintaining the flow of crude oil or
bitumen through the existing Trans Mountain pipeline to the U.S.
Albertans and Canadians can never accept such a definition of the
"public interest" or "national interest."
State Pay-the-Rich Scheme for Kinder Morgan
Trans Mountain Pipeline Project
Kinder Morgan (KM) said two conditions must be met by
it would abandon its project to build the Trans Mountain pipeline
to transport bitumen from Edmonton to Vancouver: 1) Final clarity
on its ability to construct the project through BC; 2) Adequate
protection of Kinder Morgan shareholders.
Many commentators denounced Kinder Morgan's bravado as
cover-up of a failed project or at least one that private
interests could only profit from with additional state funds,
guarantees and public infrastructure. Some said the Trans
Mountain pipeline expansion lacked commercial viability from the
get-go requiring government handouts at every stage of
development and state-funded infrastructure.
Regarding infrastructure, one economist refers
to the $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan of the federal
government to clean up any spill of bitumen in Vancouver's
Burrard Inlet or the Salish Sea. The possibility of the heavy
gooey bitumen ending up in coastal waters has many people
worried. To allay fears of a disaster or at least to be prepared
if one occurs, the Trudeau government is trumpeting the Oceans
Protection Plan as insurance that all will be well in the end.
But who pays for the insurance, if such a thing can even be
called insurance? Like other imperialist investors, Kinder Morgan
believes necessary infrastructure is something the state provides
for free. It sees necessary infrastructure and a project's
required investment as separate. Besides, not providing public
infrastructure for free violates Kinder Morgan's dictum for the
state to guarantee its profits from the project.
The "final clarity" and
"adequate protection" Kinder Morgan
seeks are related to the lack of consent for the pipeline project
from the BC polity and many in Alberta who see it as yet another
"rip and ship" project that fails to diversify the economy making
the province more vulnerable to recurring economic crises.
The Trudeau government obediently responded with a
"indemnify" Kinder Morgan's private investors against the risk of
not making their expected profit from the bitumen pipeline. The
federal promise comes with dire threats to any opponents of the
pipeline that police powers will be intensified to silence their
voice and resistance. With state funds at risk if the pipeline is
not built, the Trudeau government has added a sense of urgency
and necessity to complete the project declaring it in the
Pipeline proponents brandish the cry of lost jobs and
if the project does not proceed. This is meant to make opponents
appear as anti-development and against workers and their need for
work and income. But any economic activity requires jobs and
workers to carry out the work. That is a given for any project
however puerile or criminal it may be. Should we as sensible,
thinking and concerned Canadians acquiesce to any project because
it creates jobs and be cowed down when the imperialists hire
people to chant Jobs!, Jobs!, Jobs!?
all clamour for war because it creates
jobs? The comparison is not that farfetched. Many have pointed
out for decades that shipping out raw material is not the way to
build a modern economy. Exporting raw logs is an example from BC of
failure to diversify the economy and make it resilient and
capable of self-reliant extended reproduction.
In any case, people should question why state funds
already been given to a private project; why state-funded
infrastructure is being built to support the private project; and
now, why the federal government has offered unlimited funds to
indemnify the private project. These moves are not going to quell
the opposition. In fact, they are going to stimulate more people
to investigate and question why the state is providing funds and
allowing a private U.S.-sponsored project to rip out bitumen in
Alberta and ship it out raw via BC coastal waters.
Pay-the-Rich Schemes for Kinder Morgan
In an April 30 Vancouver Sun article, economist
Allan outlined various pay-the-rich handouts Kinder Morgan has
already received for the Trans Mountain bitumen pipeline
expansion. Her findings have not been disputed. The state money
and infrastructure offered to Kinder Morgan underscore that the
bitumen pipeline project was on shaky ground right from the
beginning without pay-the-rich schemes and public infrastructure
to prop it up. Allan writes:
Trans Mountain's expansion
commercially viable. It has needed unprecedented support from the
get-go when in 2011 the National Energy Board (NEB) approved a
$286-million special fee fought by Canadian oil producers [sic].
Chevron described it at the time as an "extraordinary precedent
... If they (Kinder Morgan) need financing, then they should go
to the market" and get it.
The NEB later approved a
more than doubling of tolls on the
existing pipeline serving B.C. and Washington state to help fund
a new one intended for offshore markets -- a subsidization of
over $350 million a year from a 65-year old line....
Then there is the
$1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan Prime
Minister Trudeau confirmed is also a subsidy when he threatened
to cancel it if the project fails.
Kinder Morgan's search for
government funding is not new
either. The company has pursued this scheme for the past five
While meeting with Alberta
for financial support, the company
told the NEB that the project would be fully funded by its
Texas-based parent, Kinder Morgan Inc. (KMI). By late 2014, KMI
was in financial trouble and could no longer deliver.
As an expert intervener, I
advised the NEB that project
financing was compromised. The NEB ignored the warning. It even
reviewed a stale-dated project. The NEB stuck with a $5.4 billion
cost for the project, citing this budget in its May 2016 report,
even though Kinder Morgan announced in October 2015 costs had
increased to $6.8 billion.
In March 2017, costs rose
again to $7.4 billion -- 40 per
cent from the initial estimate. By this time U.S. private capital
markets summarily rejected the expansion. Kinder Morgan was
unable to raise debt or equity and no joint-venture partner could
be found -- U.S. investors saw the writing on the wall.
Kinder Morgan turned its
attention to the Canadian government
and capital markets. The company acknowledged that its search
included financial support from the Canada Pension Plan and the
federal government's Infrastructure Fund.
In May 2017, Kinder Morgan
sold 30 per cent of its Canadian
assets in a public offering. None of the proceeds were for the
expansion. The $1.7 billion raised was siphoned from the Canadian
economy to pay off debt the Texas parent owed.
KMI then announced the
Canadian entity would be responsible
for raising all required project financing, although the U.S.
parent still held 70-per-cent ownership. No update on
negotiations with government sources in Ottawa was forthcoming.
The foreign parent had effectively washed its hands of all
financing responsibility while retaining the majority of any
benefits for KMI's U.S. shareholders.
In June , Canadian
banks entered into a $4-billion
construction debt facility with $1 billion more in a contingent
facility available if costs exceed $7.4 billion. Canadian banks
are aware the capital estimate for the expansion is very likely
much too low.
Kinder Morgan then raised
$550 million in preferred shares
through the same Canadian banks. Current project costs and
carrying charges mean that at least $2 billion in unfunded equity
But that's not all -- before
construction even more equity
will be required. Kinder Morgan isn't upfront with escalating
project costs. Instead, its recent ultimatum with the May 31
deadline states, "KML is not updating its cost and schedule
estimate at this time."
Why not? If there were any
time the Canadian public has a
right to know the likely cost of the expansion it's now.
Especially since taxpayers are being set up to pay for it.
Given Kinder Morgan's clever
cost-obfuscation strategy and
the contracts that are yet to be finalized, direct project costs
could exceed $9 billion.
Private talks with
politicians whose desperate behaviour
suggests they lack the business acumen to ensure they're aware of
likely project costs before they commit to them puts all
Canadians at serious financial risk. That, or Trudeau's
government is intent on hiding project overruns to rationalize a
bailout for a project that sunk long ago.
Disinformation about Asian Markets for the Kinder
Trans Mountain Bitumen Pipeline
A story has been carefully constructed and endlessly
repeated that the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion
(TMX) will open up access to Asian markets, and the U.S. will no
longer be the only market for Canadian oil. The aim of this
disinformation is to divide the polity and attack the resistance
to rule of the oligarchs by suggesting that the project will
lessen Canada's integration into Fortress North America.
"We are determined to see that pipeline built. It is in
national interest. It doesn't make any sense for us to continue
to have a $15 billion discount on our oil resources because we
are trapped with an American market. We need to get our resources
to new markets," Trudeau said.
If the goal were access to Asian markets, the Northern
Gateway route to the BC port at Kitimat would have the clear
advantage. Northern Gateway is a faster route to Asia (16 vs. 17
days to China). Northern Gateway proposed shipping with very
large crude carriers (VLCCs), which can hold about 2 million
barrels of oil. The largest carrier the Kinder Morgan Westridge
terminal in Vancouver's Burrard Inlet can accommodate is the
Aframax at about 750,000 barrels of oil.
When the Supreme Court ruled that the Harper government
failed in its duty of consultation and accommodation of
Indigenous peoples regarding Northern Gateway, the Trudeau
government could have carried out consultation and accommodation
sufficient to satisfy the court. But it chose to scrap the
project and throw its weight fully behind the TMX.
If the main destination for bitumen shipped on the
Mountain is not Asia, but the refineries in Washington state and
California, then Vancouver would have the clear advantage.
Vancouver is almost within spitting distance of some of the
Washington state refineries and a day closer to California. The
existing Kinder Morgan (KM) pipeline to Burnaby is already
connected via a pipeline to Puget Sound in Washington state, one
of the most heavily militarized regions in the world. With TMX,
the oil sands would remain a reserve for the U.S. and its goal of
secure energy for Fortress North America, especially in
preparation for war. That the National Energy Board (NEB)
approved the project without even investigating KM's dubious
claims about achieving higher prices and greater markets in Asia
further underscores the travesty of the approval process.
Concerned about the rapid growth of oil shale
the U.S., the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE)
declared in 2010 that access to Asian markets was crucial as a
bargaining tool. Telling the U.S. administration that oil can be
marketed elsewhere is meaningless if no means exists to do so,
the CCCE said, noting that a pipeline to "tidewater" could be
used to ship to the U.S. as well as Asian markets.
California, not Asia was cited by KM as the main target
market in its original application to the NEB. KM's consultant
Steven Kelly stated, "There is not a pot of gold at the end of
this rainbow. It's not as simple as saying 'if I bring my crude
to Asia I will get this price'." However, after the Harper
government made Kelly a full-time board member of the NEB, KM's
new consulting firm Muse Stancil emphasized Asia as a primary
market and downplayed the U.S. West Coast. The new consultants
said California's carbon intensity regulations would discourage
access to its market for Alberta diluted bitumen or heavy oil
blends from the oil sands.
In contrast to that assertion, the NEB report titled Trans
identifies the potential markets
for oil shipped on the TMX as Washington state, California and
East Asia, as per evidence from shippers and Texas consultants
Muse Stancil. Thirteen shippers have signed 15 to 20 year firm
contracts for 710,000 barrels/day. This constitutes 80 per cent of
available space on the line with the remaining 20 per cent
reserved for spot volumes as required by the NEB. No shipper with
a firm contract provided evidence regarding potential Asian
markets. BP and Tesero (a U.S. refining monopoly with no oil
sands presence) wanted guaranteed access to Alberta oil for their
Shipper firm contracts with KM obligate them to pay if
pipeline is built, even if they do not ship. No monopoly is going
to sign such a contract without certainty about its market. But
the NEB asked no questions about the specifics of the firm
contracts other than the money involved, which it accorded to KM
as credit. Even though the NEB is charged with investigating
energy projects, it avoids probing for basic information under
the hoax of not prying into "private business decisions."
U.S. West Coast Market
The U.S. West Coast
(Petroleum Administration for Defense District V -- PADD5) has no
pipeline connections to the U.S. oil fields and refineries on the
Gulf Coast or shale oil from North Dakota and refineries in the
U.S. mid-west. Northwest Washington state has 5 refineries with a
combined capacity of over 630,000 barrels/day supplied by tanker,
pipeline and train. About half comes by tanker from Alaska where
production is declining year after year. The existing KM pipeline
from the BC lower mainland supplies about 28 per cent, some of
which is sold back to Canada after refining. The remainder is
highly volatile shale oil shipped by rail from North Dakota.
The Washington refineries have all booked extra
the TMX. One of the refiners, Tesero (Andeavor), which
operates refineries in Washington and California filed a brief
with the NEB in 2011 objecting to the TMX, saying that it would
divert oil from U.S. refineries to offshore buyers. Andeavor is
now a firm contracted shipper on the TMX, even though it has no
production in Alberta.
California's traditional sources of oil, Alaska and
production are both in decline. Oil fields within the state now
account for only 31 per cent of total oil consumption and Alaska
oil fields 12 per cent. The majority of oil consumed is imported,
with Saudi Arabia, Ecuador, Colombia and Kuwait the main sources.
Canada supplies less than four per cent at this time.
California has the third largest refining capacity in
U.S. California requires all vehicles to use reformulated
gasoline, a specific blend of gasoline only produced in
California, Washington and the Gulf Coast. Gulf Coast refineries
have not produced reformulated gasoline since 2011, so
California's entire refined product comes from in-state or
California's cap and trade system requires refiners to
the carbon intensity of their crude oil feedstock or buy credits.
The increase in light oil from West Asia and Latin America has
lowered overall intensity rates. However, this increase in
imports goes against the U.S. stated aim to reduce imports of
foreign oil. The U.S. does not consider oil from Canada as
In its report to the NEB, KM's consultant Muse Stancil
acknowledged the strong demand for heavy crude oil in California,
as central California crude and Canadian heavy oil share many
characteristics. This means bitumen from the oil sands is a good
fit with California refineries. However, he said, the economics
are hampered by California Low Carbon Fuel Standards. While the
California rating system discourages imports of upgraded oil from
Alberta, some bitumen blends have a more favourable rating than
oil from Alaska, and carbon intensity ratings far below those of
major California oil fields. This is common knowledge that KM and
its consultants would also know.
The favourable ratings still hold true even
though California recently raised the ratings for several blends
from the oil sands. 
Why all the deception of opening up Asia's market with
TMX? Perhaps declaring Canada's "national interest" is served by
diverting investments from building a self-reliant diversified
Canadian socialized economy to serve annexation into Fortress
North America and the incessant U.S. war preparations and
mobilization on the U.S. West Coast would increase opposition to
1. Canadian Council of Chief
Executives (now Business Council of Canada), Clean Growth 2.0,
November 8, 2010.
2. "Trudeau, Notley and Trans
Mountain Pipeline: A Tyee Fact Check," Andrew Nikiforuk, The
Tyee, March 21, 2018.
3. A full copy of the NEB report
is available here.
4. "Kinder Morgan's Grand Plan to
Pipe Oil Sands Crude,"
Mitchell Anderson, The
Tyee, June 2, 2011.
5. The following carbon intensity
ratings as set out in
California's regime provide a picture of why dilbit or blended
bitumen oil from the oil sands could find a market in California.
Alaska 12.23, California San Ardo field 27.26, California Midway
Sunset 25.05, Imperial Oil's Kearl Lake Alberta oil sands 12.05,
Cenovus Christina oil sands Dilbit Blend 13.34.
The Alberta government has recently awarded $90 million
monopolies in the oil sands for projects, which it said are aimed
at reducing carbon emissions and production costs by reducing
heat needed in the in situ extraction process and improving
The Disputed Claims of Cenovus
The CEO of energy giant Cenovus, Alex Pourbaix, claims
Canadian economy is losing $15.6 billion a year because of the
low price for bitumen. The claim is questionable on many fronts.
First, the price he uses is for a blend called Western Canadian
Select. This blend was created as a benchmark in 2004 after the
Keystone pipeline to the U.S. was shut down following a spill
causing inventories in Alberta to rise. Second, for the CEO to
come up with this number, every barrel of oil produced in Canada
was counted as though it were unprocessed bitumen exported to the
United States, which is not the case. Finally, the price rests on
assumptions made about the price of oil exported to Asian markets
before the U.S. was swimming in light oil from fracking, before the
government lifted its moratorium on exporting oil and before new energy
exporting facilities were completed along the Gulf Coast. As
exports of cheaply produced oil from the U.S. are set to
increase, a price premium for exports to Asia of Western Canadian
Select appears more like a pipedream.
The claim of a loss of
$15.6 billion a year because bitumen
is blocked from being exported to Asia attempts to cover up who
is responsible for damage to the Canadian economy, in particular
the recent economic crisis in Alberta due to the collapse of oil
prices in 2014 and the one-sided nature of the economy.
Cenovus does not upgrade any oil in Canada. Instead it
purchased a share in two refineries in the U.S. midwest. It
sells bitumen to itself, or rather those two refineries it
partially owns, at low prices and sells the
refined product at a great profit. However, a problem has arisen
of ripping and shipping out more bitumen than it can process in
its midwest refineries. This problem is compounded with a
shortage of refining capacity generally in the U.S., difficulty
in accessing the California market for various reasons, and
competition from fracked oil, all of which is affecting the
bottom line for Cenovus. The solution according to Cenovus is
TMX, not questioning the current direction of the economy.
The clash of interests over TMX is not between those
"for" and those who are "against" the pipeline. The working
class, Indigenous peoples and Canadian working people are
deprived of their right to make decisions that affect their
lives. A fundamental necessity in making decisions is to be
informed with relevant facts and to have a public forum where the
issues can be debated, analyzed and a direction and actions
decided upon and taken to resolve the problem. This is not the
case today where powerful private interests and their political
representatives make all decisions in secret and then announce
them to the world as inviolable and even in the national interest,
such as the TMX.
In 2017, Cenovus reported gross income from sales of
billion and gross added-value (includes corporate and interest
profit) of $3.705 billion. It paid no taxes at all, citing "tax
recovery" in its financial statement. Cenovus paid $230 million
in oil sands royalties, $41 million in royalties on conventional
oil, and zero royalties on natural gas. Royalties and taxes
together amount to 1.56 per cent of gross income and 7.3 per cent
of declared private corporate and interest profit. Apart from the
$271 million in royalties, the accounts do not reveal or realize
(pay for) the estimated value of the benefits Cenovus receives
from state public institutions, including the right to exploit
Canada's natural resources, public research and development,
constant supply of workers with the skills, education and health
the company needs, and the widespread public infrastructure
projects without which no big company can operate.
What of the promise of jobs?
Cenovus has increased its oil
sands production capacity from 102,510 barrels/day in 2013 to a
projected 360,000-380,000 barrels/day, while reducing conventional oil
production by about 20,000 barrels/day. While tripling gross
it has slashed the workforce and continues to do so. When its
current layoffs are complete, Cenovus, despite increasing
production, will have laid off around 2,500 workers since 2013,
mainly its own employees but also contractors.
The rich oligarchs such as the Cenovus CEO put on a
that they are the ones who are going to create jobs, provide
funds in the form of royalties and taxes, and "get a better deal
and higher prices" for Canadian resources. All of this will
somehow end up in expanded social programs and public services in
spite of the vociferous demands of their political
representatives for austerity for the people and pay-the-rich
schemes for the monopolies.
None of this holds up to investigation. The key issue
is that the aim of the oligarchs is completely
self-serving and not in the public interest. Their aim is for
maximum profit to fatten their own pockets and empires. Jobs and
Canada's natural resources are targets of exploitation for the
oligarchs so they can expropriate their pound of flesh from the
new value workers produce. Nothing but private profit holds any
meaning for those currently in control of Canada's socialized
economy and politics including the well-being of the human factor
and the health of Mother Earth.
Cenovus is a Calgary-based energy monopoly that
recently acquired Conoco-Phillips' stake in several projects and
is now the sole owner of three oil sands projects -- Foster Creek,
Christina Lake and Narrows Lake. It also produces conventional
oil from the Deep Basin, an oil- and gas-rich region straddling
the Alberta-BC border, and produces natural gas mainly to fuel
its oil sands operations.
U.S. Once Again Creates Tense Situation
The Politics of Provocation
Protest against the U.S.-south Korea Max Thunder war games,
outside the U.S. embassy in Seoul, May 16, 2018.
The Panmunjom Declaration of April 27 signed by the
leaders of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the
Republic of Korea (ROK) made important headway by taking up measures to
find a peaceful solution to the problems of the division of the Korean
nation and danger of war on the Korean Peninsula. Since then, the DPRK
has made many proactive gestures towards the U.S. in the interest of
peace and positive bilateral relations. These include: releasing on May
9 three jailed
citizens of Korean nationality charged and found guilty of crimes
against the state; agreeing to the U.S. proposal that
the DPRK -U.S. Summit slated for June 12 be held in Singapore
instead of the DPRK's proposal of its capital Pyongyang; and, most
importantly, by pledging to dismantle its nuclear missile plant at
Punggye-ri in front of the whole world, the preparations for
which have already begun.
The U.S. has not responded in kind. Far from
with the DPRK in response to its overtures for diplomacy and
peace on the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. and the south Korean
armed forces which are under its command are carrying out the
warmongering 2018 Max Thunder Joint Air Combat Drill which targets
the DPRK. These war exercises started on May 11 and continue to
May 25. They involve more than 100 aircraft, including a B-52
strategic nuclear bomber and F-22 Raptor stealth fighters.
"[E]ven before the ink on
the historic April 27 Declaration
was dry, the south Korean authorities and the U.S. started the
war exercises against the DPRK, as a response to all the
peace-loving efforts and good intentions shown by the DPRK," the Korean
Central News Agency (KCNA) wrote on May 16. This is "arousing
serious concern and disappointment among all Koreans and the
international community, who want the declaration to be
implemented," it said.
It specifically decried the involvement of nuclear
assets in the drill which underscores that denuclearization is a
two-way street, not a one-way street the way the U.S. is
suggesting. The threat this poses to the security of the DPRK and
peace on the Korean Peninsula is obvious.
These war exercises were then coupled with the U.S.
pre-conditions on negotiations with the DPRK in the form of
demands that it must unilaterally denuclearize.
These provocations are not conducive to solving any
on the Korean Peninsula. They perpetuate the tensions and danger
of war. These provocations are aimed at sabotaging any
possibility of peace on the Korean Peninsula and blaming the
DPRK for being intransigent.
With these war drills aimed at the DPRK taking place,
DPRK was forced to postpone the inter-Korean talks scheduled for
May 16. It also warned that the aggressive war games jeopardize
the June 12 summit as well.
"The historic Panmunjom Declaration cannot be
the efforts of a single party, and it can only reach fruition
when the two parties create the favourable conditions and climate
by pooling their efforts," the KCNA
wrote on May 16.
"We cannot but take the step of suspending the
high-level talks scheduled for May 16 [...]. The U.S. will have to
think twice about the fate of the DPRK-U.S. summit, now high on
the agenda, in light of the provocative military exercises
against the DPRK in league with the south Korean authorities,"
the KCNA added.
On many previous occasions, the DPRK has been forced to
withdraw from peace or nuclear negotiations when the U.S. and/or
south Korean authorities staged similar provocations that made
clear that their aims were not for peace and that the DPRK did
not have a willing interlocutor in the talks. It remains to be
seen if south Korea and the U.S. will reverse course and rise to
Politics of provocation are rejected by the peoples of
world who received the Panmunjom Declaration with great joy and
want the U.S. to sign a peace treaty with the DPRK to end the
Korean War, and stop using the Korean Peninsula in its striving
for hegemony over the region so as to embroil China and Russia in
its war aims.
The world's people reject politics of provocation
pursued by the U.S. on the Korean Peninsula and the warmongering of
imperialist media and countries such as Canada and others who were
belligerents during the Korean War, and are today following the lead of
the U.S. imperialists and operating under their command.
The peoples of the world
want the U.S. to act properly and
stop its hooligan undiplomatic and provocateur behaviour which
only raises tensions and destroys any attempts to find peaceful
solutions. The peoples of the world want the U.S. to show by its
deeds before the whole world that it is sincere in wanting
peace on the Korean Peninsula. A just peace will be achieved
because the entire Korean nation wants national reunification and
peace on the Korean Peninsula. The Korean question is central to
the cause of world peace. Ending the Korean War with a peace
treaty will help spare the Korean people further hardship and the
possibility of war, along with the peoples of the countries in
the region, and humankind as a whole.
TML Weekly calls on all peace- and
people in Canada and the world to support the just stand of the
DPRK by demanding an immediate end to the U.S.-south Korea 2018
Max Thunder war games and to step up their vigilance against any
move by the U.S. imperialist warmongers and their allies to
sabotage the real prospects for peace on the Korean
DPRK Rejects U.S. Provocative Model of
Anti-war activists call for bilateral denuclearization of the Korean
Peninsula during the visit to Seoul of U.S. Secretary of Defense James
Mattis, October 28, 2017.
The U.S. is once again trying to frame the issue of the
denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula according to its Cold
War anti-communist outlook, in which its own nuclear weapons are
not considered the main threat to peace and the impetus for
the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) seeking
recourse in a nuclear deterrent to protect itself. In this way, the
U.S. seeks to
shirk its own responsibility to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula
and criminalize the DPRK, and is jeopardizing the progress made
for Korean reunification and the normalization of DPRK-U.S.
The DPRK's position on U.S. attempts to impose its
aims on Korea using the issue of denuclearization was elaborated
by Kim Kye Gwan, First Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs in a May
16 statement. Kim pointed out that high-ranking White House
officials and U.S. Department of State National Security Adviser
John Bolton are seeking to impose the so-called Libya model of
"complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization" and the
"total decommissioning of nuclear weapons, missiles, biochemical
weapons," and that if the DPRK first abandons its nuclear
deterrent, the U.S. will compensate it afterwards. This is not
dialogue, Kim pointedly remarked, and the DPRK has no intention
of meeting the same fate as Libya and Iraq.
Kim affirmed that the DPRK has "already stated our
for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and made clear
on several occasions that the precondition for denuclearization
is to put an end to the anti-DPRK hostile policy and nuclear
threats and blackmail of the United States.
"But now, the U.S. is miscalculating the magnanimity
broad-minded initiatives of the DPRK as signs of weakness and
trying to embellish and promote [these] as being the product of its
sanctions and pressure."
As for the claim that the U.S. would offer economic
compensation and benefit to the DPRK as an inducement to give up
its nuclear program, rather than engaging in the "double freeze" or
step process that ensures that the U.S. also does its part to
denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, Kim noted that the DPRK "never
had any expectation of U.S. support in carrying out our economic
construction and will not ... make such a deal in future,
either." The tremendous economic growth and development, as well
as scientific and technological process seen in the DPRK despite
the severe U.S.-led sanctions against it underscore this
"If President Trump follows in the footsteps of his
predecessors, he will leave a more tragic and unsuccessful record
than his predecessors, far from his initial ambition for
"If the Trump administration takes an approach to the
DPRK-U.S. summit with sincerity for improved DPRK-U.S. relations,
it will receive a deserved response from us. However, if the U.S.
is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral
nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such
dialogue and cannot but reconsider our proceeding to the
Finalizing North Korea-U.S. Negotiations
Bolton Says "the Quicker They Denuclearize," the
North Korea Will Get What It Wants
The approach to north Korea's denuclearization that
White House National Security Advisor John Bolton described in an
interview with ABC on May 13 essentially involves complete yet
rapid denuclearization and the surrender of nuclear weapons to
the U.S. for processing.
Bolton explained that PVID (that is, permanent,
and irreversible denuclearization) means getting rid of all
nuclear weapons by disassembling them and shipping their
components to Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
While Bolton's proposal for shipping nuclear devices to
Ridge is widely regarded in both the domestic and international
press as being identical to the Libyan solution that north Korea
has rejected, it is actually different. While the nuclear
facility at Oak Ridge did process 16kg of highly enriched uranium
and centrifuges during the process of downgrading Libya's nuclear
capability between 2003 and 2006, it is also the place that
disassembled nuclear weapons when Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan
dismantled their nuclear programs after the fall of the Soviet
Union in the early 1990s.
The problem is not the idea of relocating north Korea's
nuclear weapon components to Oak Ridge per se. Pyongyang's
responses during the "complete denuclearization" process could
vary depending on the timeline and sequence for nuclear weapon
relocation and abandonment and corresponding measures from
Washington. In an interview, Bolton said, "The quicker they
denuclearize, the quicker [what they want] will come," calling
the situation a matter of strategic determination by north Korea.
A high-ranking foreign affairs and national security
familiar with the north Korea-U.S. negotiation process explained,
"What Bolton is arguing comes across as the U.S. saying that before
any inspections or verification of north Korea's nuclear
facilities and materials, it wants to first dismantle and abandon
the north Korean nuclear warheads and ICBMs that it has viewed as
a key security threat."
"Bolton is basically the first one to overtly suggest
kind of 'big deal' or 'big bang' approach the U.S. has been talking
about in its behind-the-scenes negotiations with north Korea,"
the source suggested.
U.S. Argues for Reversal of Normal Denuclearization
This would mean he is arguing for something in the
order from the typical denuclearization process, which starts
from a freeze to reporting, inspections and verification, and
final abandonment of nuclear weapons.
It's also a long way from north Korea's traditional
In a government spokesperson's statement on July 6, 2016, north Korea
said the "denuclearization that we are calling for
encompasses denuclearization of the entire Korean Peninsula, the
abandonment of south Korean nuclear capabilities and
denuclearization around south Korea."
More crucially, it is quite different from the solution
described by north Korean leader Kim Jong-un since preparations
for the north Korea-U.S. summit entered full swing. In his May 7-8
meeting in Dalian with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Kim declared
that north Korea would "have no need to possess nuclear
[capabilities] if the hostile policies and security threat
against us are eliminated."
He also outlined a methodology that included building
trust through north Korea-U.S. dialogue, implementing step-by-step
and simultaneous measures, and pursuing a full-scale political
In his Panmunjom Declaration with south Korean
Moon Jae-in following their Apr. 27 summit, Kim pledged "complete
denuclearization" and a "nuclear-free Korean Peninsula," but
listed these as part of a subcategory (item 4) under Article 3
about ending the armistice regime and establishing a robust peace
regime on the Korean Peninsula.
Pyongyang Wants Prosperity in Exchange for
The approach is a comprehensive and reciprocal one. In
July 2016 government spokesperson's statement, Pyongyang
condenses its demands into a list of five:
- disclosing U.S.
nuclear weapons present in south Korea,
- withdrawing and
verifying U.S. nuclear weapons and bases in south Korea,
deployment of U.S. strategic nuclear assets on and around the
- pledging not to use nuclear weapons against north Korea, and
- "declaring" the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
These were later adapted and developed into the demands
reportedly stated by the north during recent preliminary meetings
with the U.S., namely withdrawing U.S. strategic nuclear assets from
south Korea, halting the deployment of strategic nuclear assets
during south Korea-U.S. joint exercises, guaranteeing no attacks
with conventional or nuclear weapons, replacing the armistice
agreement with a peace agreement, and establishing diplomatic
relations between north Korea and the U.S.
Despite the surface differences, experts said there was
reason to be too pessimistic, given the nearly one month of
negotiating time left before the north Korea-U.S. summit.
Korea Institute for National Unification
director Kim Yeon-cheol, said, "north Korea and the U.S. have reached
something of a
on the ultimate goals of 'denuclearization' and '[peace and]
"The problem is the method of exchange, with each side
and matching what they want," Kim added.
A former senior government official concluded, "If it
fast and complete denuclearization of north Korea, the U.S. is
going to have to make some corresponding strategic decision to
produce any results."
Along similar lines, former Minister of Unification Lee
Jong-seok offered optimistic predictions.
"Kim Jong-un wants to speed things up just like the
President]. There's a chance he could disclose the number of
nuclear weapons or facilities and/or a list of ICBMs during or
just after the [north Korea-U.S. summit] in order to make swift
progress with denuclearization," Lee suggested.
Lee Je-hun is editor in chief of the Hankyoreh daily
newspaper in Seoul, Korea.
DPRK to Dismantle Nuclear Weapons
Test Site at Punggye-ri
In conformity with the decisions of the Panmunjom
Declaration signed between Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the State
Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
(DPRK) and Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea
(ROK), on April 27, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the
DPRK announced on May 12 that the DPRK will be taking "technical
measures for dismantling the northern nuclear test ground of the
DPRK in order to ensure transparency of discontinuance of the
It stated that the underground nuclear test site at the
Punggye-ri will be shut down and that on May 23-25, besides local
media, international media from Russia, China, U.S., Great
Britain, and south Korea will be invited, flown in, billeted and
taken to the site to report on the event.
The DPRK will be flying in reporters from Beijing to
from where they will be taken by train to the Punggye-ri underground
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement noted that
dismantling of the nuclear test ground will be done in the
1. All underground tunnels
will be blown up using explosives
All entries will be completely blocked
3. All observation
facilities, research institutes and guard unit structures on
the surface will be removed
4. Guards and researchers will be withdrawn from the
site and surrounding areas
5. The test grounds will be completely closed.
The DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs' statement also
DPRK will also in future, promote close contact and
dialogue with neighbouring countries and the international community so
as to safeguard peace and stability on the Korean
Peninsula and all over the globe."
This announcement by the DPRK was positively received
United Nations Secretary-General António
Guterres noted that
the DPRK's announcement was an important
"confidence-building measure" that will support efforts towards
sustainable peace and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean
"The measures taken by the DPRK demonstrate its
advancing denuclearization of the peninsula and building mutual
trust with related parties," the Chinese Foreign Ministry
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted: "North Korea
announced that they will dismantle Nuclear Test Site this month,
ahead of the big Summit Meeting on June 12. Thank you, a very
smart and gracious gesture!"
Max Thunder Air Combat Drill Against the DPRK Increases
Tensions on Korean Peninsula
On May 11 the U.S. in conjunction with the south Korean
armed forces under its command launched the "Max Thunder Military
Air Combat drill" which continues to May 25. Under the hoax that
these are annual exercises, the U.S. is covering up that they are
aimed at the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and involve
nuclear assets. They pose a
threat to the DPRK at a time progress has been made to resolve
the problems on the Korean Peninsula on a peaceful basis.
These annual exercises are
part of a number of joint-military
exercises that are carried out under the provisions of the
so-called Mutual Defence Treaty the United States forced its
puppet government in the Republic of Korea (ROK) to sign after the
Korean War ended in 1953. The treaty itself was in violation of
the Korean Armistice Agreement of July 27, 1953 which required
the U.S. to sign a peace treaty with the DPRK as soon as possible to
formally end the
war and remove its troops from the Korean Peninsula.
Underscoring their threatening nature, this year these
exercises, which have been conducted since 2009, involve 100
aircraft, including eight U.S. F-22 stealth fighters which are
taking part in these exercises for the first time, as well as a
number of B-52 strategic bombers based on the Pacific island of
According to the Pentagon, they are "defensive
"part of the ROK-U.S. Alliance's routine, annual training program
to maintain a foundation of military readiness."
On May 15, the DPRK's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)
noted: "This exercise, targeting us, which is being carried out
across south Korea, is a flagrant challenge to the Panmunjom
Declaration and an intentional military provocation running
counter to the positive political development on the Korean
The Panmunjom Declaration clearly put the issue of the
denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula by the DPRK and the U.S.
high on the agenda of future peace talks, yet the U.S. is using
these war games to introduce various nuclear strategic assets
onto the Korean Peninsula, including the B-52 strategic nuclear
bombers and F-22 Raptor stealth fighters, the KCNA pointed out in
As a result of these exercises, besides calling off its
meeting with the government of the ROK
scheduled for May 16, the DPRK also warned the U.S. to "undertake
careful deliberations about the fate" of the planned summit
between U.S. President Donald Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un,
scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.
These annual military exercises are paid for by the
the ROK, as is the case with the expenses associated with U.S.
military personnel in the ROK and on U.S. bases. The U.S.-south Korea
military exercises seek to sabotage the sincere efforts of the
DPRK and ROK governments to peacefully resolve the problem of the
division of their nation and establish peace on the Korean
Peninsula. Canada has not seen fit to condemn the Max Thunder war
games which include nuclear assets. It continues to spread U.S.
imperialist disinformation to support the U.S. striving for
hegemony in the region.
Militant Commemoration of 38th Anniversary
of Gwangju People's Uprising
Protesters against the military dictatorship of General Chun Doo-hwan
gather at a fountain in front of the provincial government building of
South Jeolla Province in Gwangju, May 18, 1980, the day after he
declared martial law. (May 18
The heroic Gwangju People's Uprising in south Korea
place from May 18-28, 1980. It expressed the people's opposition
to the brutal military dictatorship of General Chun Doo-hwan.
Chun had come to power through a U.S.-engineered military coup
that overthrew the brief civilian government of President Choi
Kyu-hah and imposed martial law in south Korea in May 1980.
The uprising marked the beginning of the end of
military dictatorships in south Korea that began with the Park
Chung-hee dictatorship in 1961. All of these regimes were put in
place to maintain the U.S.-imposed division of Korea, so as to
block the people's striving for independence and keep the people
from going to communism because of the great prestige of the
communist forces lead by Kim Il Sung and the Democratic People's
Republic of Korea (DPRK) in upholding the dignity and sovereignty
of the Korean nation.
The spirit of defiance embodied by the Gwangju People's
Uprising lives on in the determination of the Korean people to
rid themselves of U.S. military occupation and economic
interference in their affairs, that also finds expression in the
latest developments in inter-Korean relations and support for
peace talks between the DPRK and the U.S.
Memorial to those killed in the Gwangju People's Uprising.
The great sacrifices of the Korean people in their
for democracy and independence and the terrible crimes committed
against them at Gwangju and other places are still coming to
light. In May 2017, the Moon Jae-in administration, which came to
power based on the people's rejection of the Park Guen-hye
administration's corruption and subservience to private and U.S.
interests, officially began to commemorate the Gwangju Uprising
and has pledged to carry out an investigation into the crimes
against the people of Gwangju.
About the Gwangju Uprising
Student march at Chonnam University, May 18, 1980.
The Gwangju People's Uprising was triggered by student
demonstrations on the morning of May 18, 1980 in defiance of the
new military edict closing the universities and stifling any
political dissent. The police were unable to check the people's
organized resistance, so a Special Forces assault unit was
dispatched. This unit first used tear gas, batons and rubber
bullets, but still the workers, shopkeepers and parents took to
the streets to defend their children. Then they opened fire with
live ammunition, killing close to two hundred people and wounding
On May 20 the south Korean military expanded its
violence and terror by deploying 3,000 paratroopers. Special
Forces commandos beat people with clubs, stabbed and mutilated
them with bayonets, and threw many to their deaths from
buildings. The soldiers used tear gas and live ammunition
indiscriminately. Twenty female students were shot dead at
Gwangju's Central High School. Taxi and ambulance drivers who
tried to get the wounded to hospital were shot on sight. One
hundred students sheltered in the Catholic Centre were
slaughtered. Those captured were often summarily executed.
Participants in the uprising arm themselves against attacks by the
On May 21, protesters broke into police stations and
arms and ammunition to defend themselves. Local Gwangju police
refused to help the military and some were beaten unconscious by
soldiers for attempting to help the people.
Pitched battles took place between the armed citizens
military and by May 22, the army was forced to pull out
The next five days were unprecedented in south Korea's
history. The people organized themselves into citizens'
committees to ensure the well-being and security of everyone.
Food, medical and transportation systems were organized and
lively political discussions took place where the people gathered
to discuss their future and their opposition to the U.S.
occupation of south Korea and the military dictatorship.
On May 24, 15,000 people attended a memorial service in
memory of those killed by the military. On May 25, about 50,000
people rallied and adopted a resolution calling for the abolition
of martial law and the release of political prisoner Kim
Bereaved families grieve over their family members killed in the
uprising, May 1980.
Soon after this, the U.S. government of Jimmy Carter
intervened because the Gwangju Uprising was seen as a threat to
U.S. strategic interests on the Korean Peninsula and East Asia.
The U.S. ordered the Chun regime to move troops from the
De-Militarized Zone separating north and south Korea to Gwangju.
On May 27, at 3:30 am, the south Korean army swarmed Gwangju in
Operation Fascinating Vacations.
In the ensuing battle, thousands of civilians were
close to 15,000 people were injured. More than 1,500 people were
taken into custody and many were tortured. Seven people were
later executed and 14 received life-sentences for taking a stand
against the U.S.-sponsored military dictatorship.
1. Kim Dae-jung, who passed away
August 2009, was a well-known political prisoner at the time of
the uprising. He later became the eighth President of the
Republic of Korea and played a significant role in moving forward
the north-south dialogue for reunification. Along with the leader
of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Kim Jong Il, Kim Dae
Jung co-signed the historic June 15 North-South Joint Declaration
which paved the way for a new period in the struggle for Korean
Calendar of Events
Mexico's 2018 General Election
Dirty War vs. People's Concerns
Presidential candidate for AMLO alliance, Andrés
Manuel López Obrador, speaks at rally.
On July 1, general elections will be held in Mexico in
which a total of 3,400 positions are to be filled. These include
the president; 128 senators (96 to be chosen through direct vote
and 32 from a proportional list); 500 elected representatives
(300 to be elected by direct vote and 200 from a proportional
list); and nine states will elect a governor. The remaining 2,762
positions represent mayors and councillors of cities and villages
throughout the Mexican Republic.
A record 17,000 candidates have put themselves forward
election. The record number of positions to be filled at this
particular historical juncture makes this election very
For the Mexican people, this year's general election is
taking place within a most difficult political, economic and
social context. Over 60 per cent of the Republic's population
lives in poverty. Their level of insecurity has never been
greater: more than 200,000 deaths have occurred over the past 12
years, thousands have disappeared and even more aggressions have
been committed. Based on human rights defence agencies, each
minute of the day 11.7 women are the victims of either
aggression, violence or assassination attempts, with seven dying
each day. The youth have also not been spared, with thousands of
disappearances and assassinations in the country's most
politicized regional zones. Organized criminal groups and
criminal cartels linked to the Mexican state continue to
While Mexico's GDP has increased by 2.1 per cent,
have fallen by 3.5 per cent. The level of impunity with regard to
all types of crime combined within the country stands at 98 per
cent. The level of integration of the economy to that of the U.S.
has never been higher. Mexico, the lead producer of corn, has
become an importer of corn from the U.S., which is also the case
with beans. Energy "reforms" brought in by the current President
Peña Nieto have allowed for the privatization of oil, with large
monopolies such as British Petroleum now setting up shop within
the country. A litre of gas now costs almost as much as it does
in Montreal, and Mexico has become an importer of oil and
Since the pre-election campaign began, the Mexican
has received visits from former U.S. Secretary of State Rex
Tillerson and current U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security
Although each of their meetings with Mexican officials
held behind closed doors, the respective statements of both
governments expressed the determination to continue collaboration
between the countries with regard to security and immigration.
All the U.S. spy agencies have set up shop in the downtown area
of Mexico's capital. U.S. clandestine military bases exist in
many of the Republic's states. Thousands of Mexicans continue to
be deported from the U.S. to Mexico. The trade in arms and drugs
on each side of the border is controlled by U.S. agencies which
use the pretext of illegal immigration to justify impunity.
President Trump recently sent the National Guard to the Mexican
Bearing all of this in mind, how can one not imagine
great concern of the U.S. and the oligopolies they serve over the
results of the Mexican election?
In the face of this situation thousands of Mexicans are
resisting, fighting and demonstrating each day so that their
rights as human beings be respected to live in security and
within economic conditions that provide for a dignified life. The
concern of the Mexican people in this election is to find a way
to elect those who may be able to bring about a break in the
system of impunity, corruption, privatization and integration
into U.S. imperial interests. In doing so they find themselves victims
of the greatest pressure to prevent them from
focussing on their real interests.
It is common practice for the various parties of the
have at their disposal an entire arsenal of measures to buy the
votes of Mexican citizens. This can range from a bag of groceries
to construction materials, or from intimidation to assassination.
In the face of the growing interest of the Mexican people to
elect the AMLO alliance to the presidency of the republic with
Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) for president, the
parties in the service of the oligarchs continue to increase
their ads, announcements, statements and videos filled with lies,
in order to create a psychosis of fear amongst the people and
prevent them from voting for AMLO. Each and every day of the
electoral campaign the people are subjected to a multitude of
contradictory messages from the four candidates vying for the
presidency against AMLO and López Obrador. It is a feat for
people to think calmly about who is best suited to serve their
The aim is to create a huge impression on the workers
people as to who to vote for on July 1. Based on information from
news agencies controlled by the monopoly media, the fight is
between the alliances of Partido Révolucionario Institucional
(PRI), Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) and the and the independent
candidate, on one hand, and AMLO, on the other. Why such
hysteria and concern vis-à-vis the possible election of AMLO to
the presidency of the Mexican Republic?
The PRI and PAN alliances, along with the independent
candidate, are concentrating all their actions against the
possible election of AMLO as president of the Republic. AMLO is
presenting a nation-building project centred on the priority of
developing the national economy and against the privatization of
public services. But this does not amount to a revolutionary
project. It is not against the capitalist system or foreign
investments. Its thesis is that it can ensure the development of
education, health care and the production of goods each year
which serve the people. It seems that at this time the general
interest of the Mexican people resides with the AMLO alliance's
Juntos Haremos Historia (Together We Will Make History). According to
recent national and international polls, the presidential candidate
López Obrador is leading with 46 per cent of the intended vote,
20 points ahead of his closest rival Ricardo Anaya at 26 per cent, and
Jose Antonio Meade is at 20 per cent, and El Bronco at two per cent.
Margarita Zavala who has now dropped out was at five per cent. These
percentages have been the same since the
pre-campaign, and there is just a month-and-a-half to go to the
election. This is the third time that AMLO is running for the
presidency of the country. In 2006 and in 2012, even though it
looked like AMLO would win the election, a process of fraud
prevented it from taking the presidency of the country. This led it to
constitute its MORENA movement into a political party, and create party
constituencies in all of the Republic's cities and villages. It
presently has two million active party members.
What is clear from the present campaign is the great
concern amongst the Mexican people over the future of their nation and
a determination to sort out how to move forward. There
is also great anger amongst the workers and the entire people
towards the parties and the media because they are not dealing
with their concerns. Instead, they continue to fight amongst
themselves as to who can tell the biggest lie about the others or
who can create the greatest fear by screaming the loudest about
an impending apocalypse if the people do not submit to the
interests of big capital.
A total of five candidates are running for President of
Mexico. Three of them are leaders of alliances: Andrés Manuel
López Obrador (AMLO), for Junto Haremos Historia comprised of
MORENA in alliance with Partido del Trabajo (Mexico) and
Encuentro Social; Ricardo Anaya of Frente por el Futuro,
comprised of Partido Acción Nacional (PAN), in alliance with
Partido de la Révolución Democratica (PRD) and the
Ciudadano; Jose Antonio Meade for Todos por México comprised of
the Partido Révolucionario Institucional (PRI) (the present
in power) in alliance with Partido Verde Ecologista de México
(PVEM), and Nueva Alianza PANAL; and one independent candidate, Jaime
Rodriguez Caldéron, nicknamed El Bronco, representing a
dissident section of PRI in the north-eastern part of the country.
Margarita Zavala, the wife of former PAN president Felipe Calderon,
Of Mexico's 127 million inhabitants, some 90 million
have the right to vote on July 1. Of that number, 30 per cent are
between the ages of 18 and 35, making the youth a key factor in
70th Anniversary of the Nakba
Worldwide Protests Against Israeli Crimes and
Inauguration of Illegal Embassy
TML Weekly condemns the violence and
killings perpetrated by the Zionist state of Israel against the
Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and the culture of
impunity permitted by the U.S. imperialists and their allies including
Canada. The Israeli Army's criminal attacks on the Palestinian
population in the Gaza Strip on the occasion of Al Nakba Day
and in protest of the decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem
killed more than 60 defenceless people and injured more than 2,400.
U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to relocate the country's
embassy to Jerusalem also violates the very premises of the resolution
which permitted Israel to become a member of the United Nations in the
A comprehensive, just, and lasting solution to the
denial of the right of the Palestinian people to their homeland is the
responsibility of the international community which permits Israel to
carry on being a UN member despite its criminal acts. The Palestinian
people's right of return and to a sovereign state according to pre-1967
borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, are not negotiable.
May 14, 2018 near Gaza border with Israel
Palestine House Press Release
- May 14, 2018 -
With 58 innocent unarmed
civilian Gazans dead and
thousands injured protesting an illegal occupation that is
marking fifty-one years with no end in sight, on the heels of
scores of Palestinians injured and dead over the past few days, it
is time to raise the question Why is it that our government is
Our representatives in parliament, the human rights
organizations and fellow Canadians are silent and deaf to the
slaughter of innocent people whose only crime is resisting
peacefully their occupiers those who have imprisoned and
encircled their land and water and denied them food, medicine and
necessities of life.
The UN has declared Gaza an unlivable place with one of
highest population densities and short of all necessities and
rights. Portraying all Gazans as members of Hamas is a cheap
trick to dehumanize them and justify their massacres.
We call on all Canadians and particularly the
justice and peace to raise their voices in protest of these
humanitarian war crimes, Silence at this juncture is complicity
with these crimes. Palestinians lives matter too.
For further information visit Palestine House online here or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Review of Actions Around the World
Halifax, Nova Scotia
May 13, 2018
May 14, 2018
May 12, 2018
May 18, 2018
Windsor, Ontario, May 15, 2018
Edmonton, Alberta, May 15, 2018
Vancouver, BC, May 15, 2018
Courtenay, BC, May 15, 2018
May 15, 2018
May 17, 2018
Sanaa, May 15, 2018
Jakarta, May 11,2018
Capetown, May 15, 2018
New York City, May 17, 2018
Washington, DC, May 14, 2018
Milwaukee, May 14, 2018
New Haven, May 14, 2018
London, May 15, 2018
Sheffield, May 15, 2018
Cambridge, May 15, 2018
Derry, May 14, 2018
Derry, May 15, 2018
Limerick, May 15, 2018
Cannes, Film Festival, May 15, 2018
Lyon, May 14, 2018
Oslo, May 16, 2018
Rome, May 14, 2018
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